The long wait is over.
An annual rite of spring may be delayed for a few weeks, but soon the sounds of bats cracking and clapping in the glove will fill the air around Major League Baseball’s spring training sites in Florida and Arizona.
Major League Baseball and Players Union ratified a new contract after a 99-day impasse on Thursdaypaving the way for the start of the season, albeit a bit later than originally planned.
But players are due to report to their team facilities to start spring training by Sunday, and it looks like the weather couldn’t be better.
In Arizona, the weather is forecast to be sunny and close to 80 in Phoenix and its surrounding suburbs where the Cactus League teams play.
In Florida, while thunderstorms and possible severe weather are predicted for the northern third of the state Friday and Saturday conditions improve for Sunday as the Grapefruit League kicks off. Highs will be around 70 for east coast venues like Jupiter, Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach, home to the Marlins, Cardinals, Mets, Nationals and Astros, while highs will be in the upper 60s around Tampa (Yankees) and west. shore locations like Clearwater (Phillies), Dunedin (Blue Jays) and Bradenton (Pirates.)
Lakeland, where the Detroit Tigers train, is expected to be the relatively cool 65-degree spot on Sunday as Twins and Red Sox players bask in the mid-70s heat in Fort Myers.
No rain is forecast for Phoenix for all of next week, which means spring training games should start without a hitch later in the week. However, while dry weather appears to hold in Florida early next week, rain and thunderstorms return to the forecast for mid to late week.
LINK: Get updates on this story from FOXweather.com